The Daily Beet

10 Jan Randy’s Incredible Story

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Today we bring you Randy’s story. Please leave some encouraging comments below!

Dad Before 2

I begin this journey in January 2012; when I was an absolute miserable, ticking time bomb at 410 lbs. 54 years old and tired of being tired, my daughters (who eat a plant based diet) had harped on me relentlessly about trying to change my eating habits. I had every reason imaginable to get healthy.  My dad passed away from a heart attack after a triple and double bypass while out on the golf course when he was just 62. And my mother had a severe case of Alzheimer’s. Up until this point, I knew it had been merely luck that something hasn’t happened to me. Sometimes I even thought to myself “when” I have a stroke or heart attack; I hope it’s mild enough that I will be able to lead a somewhat normal life or that it would be so bad that it would just take me.  I couldn’t have been more selfish. And although I had tried by giving every diet imaginable a try (Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, sugar-free, fat-free, etc) and although each one of them had worked, each one of them would cause me to gain even more weight back when I went off.

In February, my ticking time bomb went off (literally) in the form of a blood clot that almost gave me a stroke or heart attack.  I was having difficulty breathing and what my physician believed to be an upper respiratory infection turned out to be a small time bomb floating its way through my legs and lungs.  It wasn’t 10 minutes after going to the doctor to have them looks at my swelling leg before they called an ambulance.  I was in such grave condition that they wouldn’t even allow me to drive to the hospital.  I had what they called a “floater” from my knee to my ankle.  Luckily, I had brought a friend with me, who had encouraged me to go the doctor, who saved my life by being there to take me straight to the emergency room.

Dad before

What I discovered when I arrived had me convinced that I had mere hours before something catastrophic was going to happen.  I had blood clots in my lungs and a complete clot between my leg and knee.  They immediately put in a filter to prevent it from going to my heart or brain, causing a stroke or heart attack.  When I asked the doctor how much time I had to think about it, he responded “two seconds”. Needless to say, they put it in and I was wheeled off. There I remained in the hospital for two weeks from something I had thought was a respiratory infection.

As I walked myself around the hospital for those two weeks, I came across others who weren’t nearly as lucky as me.  Although I had worried my family to tears, these families were destroyed because of various problems similar to mine.  I was incredibly lucky.  And that was the extra push I needed to help keep my family from experiencing the same. I thought that if someone would have broke into my home wouldn’t I fight for my family’s safety and myself? Who wouldn’t? So I fought back. I started reading and learning all I could about health and nutrition. Not about diets, but about how to eat because dieting just didn’t work for me. After going to a plant based diet I saw changes within a few days.  Pounds fell off me. I thought everyone woke up tired and sluggish. But shortly after my change, I was waking up rested and alert. My coworkers even noticed a huge change in my attitude and why I was so happy all the time. Because I felt amazing! Losing weight will make you feel good….taking control of your life and future will make you feel GREAT!!

It’s been almost a year now and I have lost 140lbs. For the first time in 20 years, I can buy clothes off the rack. My blood sugar went from 110 to 74, blood pressure from 168/136 to 135/82. My cholesterol was over 21, it is now 143. All in one year! I am still on my medications and am still being monitored closely by my doctor.  However, when my doctor saw my improvements he said “whatever you’re doing, keep doing!”  He also anticipates that I will probably be able to get off my meds in a few months.  I have been on blood pressure medication since I was 25!

This is not a diet, it’s not temporary, and it’s not a quick fix.  It’s a complete lifestyle overhaul. Of course I like to look good, but eating this way is so much more. It gave me my life back and it gave my children their father back. My daughters say to me “that is the Dad I remember” and that is exactly the motivation I need.  I want to be here to see my children and grandchildren grow. But I also want to be here to do things with them, things that if things keep going the way there were I would have not been able to. Today is your tomorrow. Fight back, fight for your life and for your family’s life

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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Vickie
    Posted at 05:31h, 11 January

    What an awesome story Randy! Your family must be so proud of you. I’m glad you made the plant strong change and are getting healthier.

  • Courtney Boyce
    Posted at 07:11h, 11 January

    My dad is awesome!!! Love you. Couldn’t be more proud.

  • Christa Sperling
    Posted at 07:37h, 11 January

    Way to go, Randy!!

  • Rachel Russell
    Posted at 08:23h, 11 January

    You look great, Randy! It’s awesome to see you that way and glad you are feeling better, and I bet Court, Steph and Randy are super proud:-) Great job!

  • Stef
    Posted at 08:36h, 11 January

    Way to go! Inspiring!

  • JenO
    Posted at 09:00h, 11 January

    You indeed have to fight for your life these days. Staying healthy is certainly challenging. Very proud of you; You are a fighter!!

  • Shannon and Kevin
    Posted at 09:18h, 11 January

    We are so proud of you Randy! Keep up the great work!

  • Davie
    Posted at 09:56h, 11 January

    So proud of you, Randy!!

  • Jenna
    Posted at 10:34h, 11 January

    Congratulations!! You have so much to be proud of!!!

  • Rita
    Posted at 11:16h, 11 January

    Great Job!! So proud of you!

  • Jackie
    Posted at 11:18h, 11 January

    Awesome story! Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Vikki Wolfe
    Posted at 11:21h, 11 January

    This is so awesome! GREAT JOB! I love to read life changing things like this! You took your own life back into your own hands without medication,surgery or anything else ! It is defiantly not a quick or even easy fix,My whole family is on the plant based life style now for 4 months- myself 41,my husband 44,son 13,son 11, and son 8! It has been a long road but with the help of so many life engine 2 it has made it much easier! When things get tough I try to remember its SO EASY to get out of shape and gain weight, but it takes hard work and determination to stay on track and stay healthy! Society/media ect make easy fast meals that ARE NOT good for anyone! Slow down take time to shop and make great meals to stay alive and healthy! AGAIN WONDERFUL DETERMINATION TO GET WHERE YOU ARE AND WORK HARD TO STAY THERE! 😉

  • Kathryn
    Posted at 11:31h, 11 January

    What a great story Randy! I started eating a plant based diet in March of 2012, even though I didn’t have any health issues I have a horrible history in my family ( including all of my siblings with type 2 diabetes ) my younger sister who has (had) every medical problem you can think of listened to me talk about the foods I eat and new recipes I was trying. After a few months she decided to start eating this way and almost all of her health problems have gone away! I wish she would write something here telling her story, I am so proud of her! So I am so happy to hear about your success Randy, I can’t imagine ever eating any other way! Best of health to you!

  • Therese
    Posted at 11:36h, 11 January

    WOW!!!!….What an encouraging experience!….Your journey, is one that will give many people the courage to want to live! God has blessed you, not only to live another day, but to help so many others like you WERE!….;)

  • Pamela Stevens
    Posted at 11:38h, 11 January


  • Kelley McCarter
    Posted at 12:14h, 11 January

    What a journey and I bet it will only get better.

  • Bhavish
    Posted at 12:18h, 11 January

    Very very empowering…i will continue to share your story with others in hopes that they’ll take the right precautions to enhance their lives and the lives of those loved ones.

  • Faith
    Posted at 12:24h, 11 January

    Two thumbs up, Randy!

  • donna alley
    Posted at 12:36h, 11 January

    Sooo..great and inspiring. I am now trying hard to go plant based, but I am married to a hunter that eats meat and makes it hard on the weekends. I know I need to just say “enough is enough”..and do as you did and fight for your health. All week long I eat plant based, til the weekend and I go off. I needed and inspiring story such as yours to help motivate me to stay strong. Thanks sooo much for sharing. 🙂 Stay strong and live strong!

  • Roseanne Lewis-Maloney
    Posted at 12:46h, 11 January

    Awesome job, what a great story you have to tell!

  • Lisa W
    Posted at 13:07h, 11 January

    Wow, Wow, Wow!!!! Way to go, Randy!

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 13:10h, 11 January

    Awesome, Randy! You’re very inspiring.

  • KMP
    Posted at 13:14h, 11 January

    Way to go, Randy! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. Life truly is a gift. Human nature is tough to battle, but you took the better path, changed lifelong habits, and have blessed the lives of your family in the process. Congratulations!

  • Tania
    Posted at 13:28h, 11 January

    This is truly a love story. You loved your family enough not to put them through grief because of your health, and you loved yourself not to have to suffer the harmful and disastrous effects of a poor diet. It takes a lot of discipline and determination but look at you now!! Very impressive. Thanks for being an example to so many. We applaud and cheer your success!

  • Elaine
    Posted at 13:42h, 11 January

    fabulous story ~~ very happy ending!! so very encouraging!

  • Cindy
    Posted at 14:05h, 11 January

    It’s inspiring stories that keep me and others going. Great, GREAT job!!!

  • Alisa
    Posted at 14:26h, 11 January

    Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring me to continue on my own plant based journey.

  • Lillia
    Posted at 14:40h, 11 January

    Randy, thanks for sharing such a great story!! I wish I could get my parents to do what you did! Truly inspirational how far you have come in a year. Congratulations on your success and I look forward to hearing how you continue to progress!

  • Lynn W.
    Posted at 14:52h, 11 January

    Congratulations on your success! Good for you, keep up the good work. You are are great inspiration to others!

  • bill
    Posted at 15:02h, 11 January

    randy- you are doing fantastic! we are following the same diet— my son has lost close to 100 lbs and i have lost 40— and we feel fantastic and love the food keep up the good work !

    • Maria
      Posted at 07:10h, 07 February

      I have not eaten meat since October 2012, but I have not lost weight. In fact my stomach is getting bigger. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?

  • Denise602
    Posted at 17:21h, 11 January

    Let food be thy medicine….

  • Suzanne
    Posted at 17:30h, 11 January

    Randy, you ROCK!!!!! You are such an inspiration to everyone! I am going to save your story and read it whenever I need some extra motivation. Best wishes for your new future!

  • Lynnette
    Posted at 17:31h, 11 January

    Randy your story is amazing. I am so happy that you had the chance and information available to make the change, and the strength to do it. You are such an inspiration.

  • Liz
    Posted at 19:13h, 11 January

    Congratulations Randy! Your story is amazing! My dad had heart problems too, but he was also very thin. They say you can be thin and still have bad health. My father passed away when I was only about a year old. He was only in his mid 30’s when he passed!! My grandfather, his father, had an embolism. I have good health but I also fear not living to see my kids grow up or future grandkids. My family are my everything and I decided to make a change in lifestyle. They are young but I don’t want them to go through what I have gone through and wishing their mom was still alive. I count my blessing everyday!

  • Aleta Martn
    Posted at 19:16h, 11 January

    Randy that is amazing! keep reminding yourself everyday of the love of your family. My dad had his first heart attack at 47 and final at 62. I never understood, as a kid and teenager why he didn’t follow the Drs. advice, didn’t he want to be around for us? Even if your kids don’t know how to put it into words, they feel it and are so proud of you and what you have done, FOR THEM, Too!

  • Don Casto
    Posted at 19:43h, 11 January


  • Nadege Schoenfeld
    Posted at 21:06h, 11 January

    That is terrific. What a difference wholesome food makes. (You write very well).

  • Mike
    Posted at 21:47h, 11 January

    Randy, You are “The Man”!! Inspiring Story.

  • Alyson
    Posted at 09:07h, 12 January

    Wow! What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing. I am in much the same place that you were last year and just starting my tomorrow today!!

  • Teresa
    Posted at 09:43h, 12 January

    Loved reading your story and so happy for you and you’re family. Isn’t it wonderful that we DO have control over our health! Keep up the healthy eating!

  • Robin Holliday Bennett
    Posted at 14:57h, 12 January

    Neat story and thanks for sharing. I just started eating the plant based way and already can feel a difference. I am doing it for health. My dad died of a massive heart attack at age 47 with no warning! Doing it for your family and for yourself is a great reason to start. Congratulations and much continued success:)

  • Ken Riddett
    Posted at 10:07h, 13 January

    Great story Randy.I have been plant strong since May 2012.It was the best thing I ever did .I am sure it saved my life.There are real superheros in the world and two of them are Caldwell and Rip Esselstyn.They probably saved more lives than Superman .One of the best feeling you can get is to inspire someone else to go plant strong and see the results. Keep up the good work.

  • Jeneane Bean Keller
    Posted at 11:08h, 13 January

    Well done Randy! I wish you every success in remaining plant strong, you look great! I have been plant strong since January 2013 and loving it 🙂 Good luck!!!

  • Sourgrapes
    Posted at 11:34h, 13 January

    Thanks for giving your daughters the gift of “you.”

  • Priscilla Stephens Jacko
    Posted at 12:12h, 13 January

    wow, keep up the good work!

  • Stephen Simpson
    Posted at 14:14h, 13 January

    FANTASTIC! Congratulations and stay healthy!

  • Angela
    Posted at 14:43h, 13 January

    Great job!!! keep living intentional on your foods you chose to eat!! you reap what you sow, and sowing good healthy whole foods will reap a harvest of good health 🙂

  • Trisha
    Posted at 00:04h, 14 January

    Congratulations. You look great and I am sure your family is very proud to have you in their lives. Here’s to your continued Good Health.

  • Ami Mackey
    Posted at 07:15h, 14 January

    Randy! So proud of you! Keep putting in the work and it will keep paying off. So happy for you and your family!

  • Cathy Ann Johnston
    Posted at 09:37h, 14 January

    Great job and very encouraging story! Seeing that you have been able to make these changes will help other to know they can as well! Good for you!

  • derek
    Posted at 09:52h, 14 January

    Awesome! Am working in this direction myself. It is just amazing!

  • Cheryl Blom
    Posted at 16:03h, 15 January

    You “GO” Boy ! OK, so I teared up on this one, because you are amazing ! Reading your awesome detailed story gave more insight on you & your determination for self love and the love for your family. I have known you for about 13 yrs, and always admired your sense of humor, you are a great guy, friend, father, grandfather. Now, you will remain all of the above longer, due to your willingness to be a healthier you. Thanks so much for the inspiration and continued success !!! We Love You Randy…. Ed and Cheryl 🙂

  • E2X Anne
    Posted at 09:44h, 17 January

    Congratulations Randy! What an amazing turnaround….could not be more happy for you! Way to go! I love this quote from your story: “I thought everyone woke up tired and sluggish. But shortly after my change, I was waking up rested and alert. My coworkers even noticed a huge change in my attitude and why I was so happy all the time. Because I felt amazing! Losing weight will make you feel good….taking control of your life and future will make you feel GREAT!!” Thank you for sharing your inspiring story.

  • 3eyedjohnny
    Posted at 14:47h, 17 January

    What a great story, Randy! You are going to impact many, many peoples lives with your dedication to your family and showing the change is not only possible but doable. Congratulations and thank you for the inspiration!

  • Derick Josey
    Posted at 08:32h, 19 January

    wow. thank god. i like this plant based diet.

  • Yvonne
    Posted at 15:31h, 21 January

    You look wonderful and I do wish you health and success. keep posting, for inspiration to those of us just beginning

  • Andrea Regis
    Posted at 11:34h, 05 February

    What an inspiration! I’ve been plant-strong for 3 weeks now and I hope I will see the same kind of results soon! Keep up the good work… I will too!

  • Dead2Soon
    Posted at 22:22h, 04 March

    This story reaches out to me. 425LBS, hypertension, high cholesterol and tired all the time. Decades of meat and salt. How long before I get used to the change? Generally, a lifetime avoiding everything suggested here. Will I develop a taste for the new foods?

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